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Our View: Centre parties need to come clean

ALL SO-CALLED centre parties issued negative or alarmist statements on Tuesday to mark the resumption of the Cyprus talks which had been temporarily halted to allow President Anastasiades get over his bad mood caused by events in Istanbul. The centre parties never get over their bad mood regarding the Cyprus talks, which they have criticised right from the start, always finding something negative to say about them. It could not have been any different this time.

The most frequent theme of their criticism is that Anastasiades was putting at risk the Cyprus Republic, because in the event of an agreement there would be a new state entity to replace the Republic, which according to the centre parties’ mantra “must be preserved at all costs.” The main slogan of DIKO’s parliamentary election campaign was the safeguarding of the Cyprus Republic, so it did not feel the need to repeat itself. The Alliance, Solidarity and the Greens, however all warned Anastasiades about diminishing the Republic.

Anastasiades had to make it clear to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that the solution would be the continuation of the Cyprus Republic said Solidarity, while the Greens demanded he drew red lines safeguarding the Republic. If Akinci refused to agree to the continuation of the Cyprus Republic, said the Alliance, there would be no point to talks that “have as their aim and vision the dissolution of the Republic.” What all the custodians of the Cyprus Republic fail to mention is that if it is preserved there would be no settlement. Its preservation and a settlement are mutually exclusive, because the main aim of the talks is the establishment of a new, partnership state.

There would be no agreement without it. In fact, the demand for preserving the Republic is coded language for maintaining the status quo that would inexorably formalise partition. Parties and politicians have every right to support partition as a settlement as this would ensure the Republic remained in the hand of Greek Cypriots, but they should not be ashamed to say so. They should have the honesty to say that rather than share a new state with the Turkish Cypriots they would rather keep things as they are. It is a perfectly legitimate position but the parties of the centre should have the courage to spell it out instead of deceiving people with the blatant lie that they could achieve a settlement and preserve the Republic.

The Cyprus problem rhetoric of the supposedly patriotic parties has always been based on lies and false promises, but is it not time for them to put aside the false hopes they have been feeding people and come clean for once?

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